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Video resumes: Make an impression!

By Craig D'Mello
Last updated on: June 27, 2007 13:03 IST
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Video what? Why would anyone ever want to send a video to a prospective employer? In the past, there may have been reasons why people did not send video resumes, but in an age where qualifications come by the dozen, the only way to grab attention is to employ a unique method of showcasing your skills.

Video resumes have been around for a while, but are only now gaining popularity. With the acceptance of the online medium, there are those radical professionals who have uploaded their resumes on various sites, many which are open to all, YouTube being one of them.

Why go video?

It's time to break tradition and change perceptions. I'm not saying that the immaculate white piece of paper, which summarises your life's achievements, should be thrown away. But wouldn't it make twice the impact if your resume were accompanied with a more personal showcase?

Video employs audio as well as the visual medium; which stimulates a greater interest in the viewer. And just by making the video, you have already conveyed your determination and effort level to an employer. This does not guarantee you a job, but it does say you will go that extra mile.

This is also a welcome change for HR departments. After reading repetitive text, sometimes when the summary of qualifications is presented in another manner it breaks the monotony. It gives the employer a chance to see, hear and have a greater experience of what to expect from you -- all before even meeting you. (an online job site) has recognised the impact a video resume can have and provides its users with this convenience. So now, along with uploading your normal resume, you can upload your video resume.

Making your own video resume

Action speaks! And this is no rocket science. All you need is a good script (to make sure your video resume doesn't put them to sleep) and a smart editor (in case you want to make it a little film or an ad of yourself).

There are many ways of doing this. You can shoot it yourself, have friends help you or go to professionals if you see fit, but ideally it is best to try it yourself. More than anything, this will boost your confidence and prepare you for future interviews. Moreover, you can watch your body language and tweak it to convey and inspire confidence.

~ Step one: Draft a script, decide what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Step two: Get your camera ready. Arrange for a handycam if you don't have one.
~ Step three: Start shooting. You can take as many shots as you wish, if you plan to edit the video.
~ Step four: Edit out the flaws and make your video perfect (or as close to it as you can get).
Step five: Send it out or post it on the internet.

While shooting, look at the camera and do not let your vision drift. If needed, practice before the shoot. It is imperative that you get it right. The wrong words and dodgy body language will have a detrimental effect.

After all this effort, you will have learned a lot more about yourself -- you can view yourself as you would be viewed by your employers. So, modify your approach to what you think would be appreciated by a would-be employer.

Remember, keep your video resume as short as possible, preferably under two minutes. And if you can say everything in 30 seconds, that makes it even better. This is based on the fact that it takes about 30 seconds to peruse through a resume, and a video resume may not be too well received if it takes up extra time.

See more on video

Like all coins, this too has its flip side. With video resumes, one of the drawbacks is that it leaves room for bias, or can create the existence of one. But this is an insignificant issue. Bias, whether you use a video resume or a more conventional one, can creep in at any point.

There are those who have impressed employers and bagged their dream jobs. There are also those who have faltered, but don't let that hold you back. Video resumes are the future, just as e-mail succeeded the postal service and mobiles have revolutionised the communications world.

We have to constantly move forward, and in a world where the competition is constantly improvising, video resumes seem to be the logical evolution of the simple paper resume. The theme to your video could highlight the creativity inherent in every one of us. So, get those cameras rolling because there is a world of opportunity waiting for the picture-perfect employee.

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Craig D'Mello